150 Mile resident Norma Sure and dog, Nylah, are some of the many evacuees in Prince George. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press)

Finding the silver lining in an evacuation

The recent evacuations from 150 Mile House, have connected Norma Sure to her daughter and nephew

The tears came quickly for Norma Sure when her daughter and nephew made it to Prince George Saturday night.

“When they arrived… I couldn’t stop crying,” she said.

For the longtime Cariboo resident, today is evacuation day nine.

With her nephew’s dog Nylah at her feet, Sure waited patiently in a chair off to the side of the emergency reception centre Sunday morning, watching hundreds rush from their cars to get in line and register with Emergency Social Services.

Her daughter and her boyfriend, as well as her nephew and his girlfriend were inside getting registered themselves. They’re a few of the nearly 37,000 people who have been displaced due to the wildfires raging across the province.

RELATED: Wildfires displace thousands of evacuees

It’s hard to find positives when natural disasters strike, but Sure has seemed to find a silver lining.

Saturday’s evacuation meant family was joining her in Prince George, she explained.

At least they’d be together.

Sure was evacuated more than a week ago from her 150 Mile home and only given a few short hours to pack.

Although she had to leave behind most of her belongings – including her rooster – Sure managed to bring three of her horses to Prince George. They’re now being cared for by volunteers at the Prince George Exhibition Grounds.

Sure moved her dozen-or-so chickens to her parents house nearby, but during their own evacuation to Kamloops they couldn’t manage to catch a single one, and had to leave them behind.

Sure’s niece – who was sent during an evauation order to Kamloops – had managed to get a permit Thursday to check on the ranch. The rooster was still where it was left, near plenty of water and food.

VIDEO: Young parents’ dream turns to nightmare in wildfire

Feeling homesick, Sure’s had more than a week to internalize the situation she’s been dealt.

“There are moments where I just wants to be in the comfortability of my home,” she said.

But she’s also happy to be safe, and surrounded by family she can now ensure are also OK.

“Everyone’s out alive, and that’s all that matters.”

Sure’s preparing for the long haul. She’s re-registering for funds through the Emergency Social Services and suspects it could be some time before she’s allowed back into the town she calls home.

As for returning home, it’s a waiting game highly dependent on weather, as fire crews try to contain each blaze.

The five family members are staying together at the Coast Inn of the North Hotel, where evacuees have been given discounts. The rest of the bill being paid for through their ESS stipend.

Each day, they’ll wait together for updates on their homes and when they can return to their communities.

“Crazy has become the new normal.”

Just Posted

Reported gunfire in Surrey Friday night

Surrey RCMP were on scene in Newton

Russell Bidesi found guilty of second-degree murder in Surrey shooting

Bidesi was charged with shooting 28-year-old Bradley McPherson in 2011

Freezing temperatures expected in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning ends, but surge or icy air to continue

Surrey schools saw doubling of international students from 2010 to 2017

‘We have one of the largest elementary fee-paying programs in B.C. and Canada and it continues to grow.’

VIDEO: Major construction projects in White Rock

Parkade development now underway on waterfront

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Arts Club to bring ‘The Piano Teacher,’ ‘Blind Date’ and ‘Circle Game’ to Surrey next season

Theatre company’s new White Rock-raised artistic director detailed coming plays on Monday

Rebels beat road-weary Giants

Vancouver was playing fourth game in five days

VIDEO: Protesters rally for affordable housing ahead of B.C. budget

Residents call on province to keep locals housed

Update: Highway 97C reopened following multi-vehicle incident

Highway 97C is closed to eastbound traffic near Pennask Summit following an incident Sunday afternon

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Late-winter snow storm blankets Lower Mainland

Some areas got up to half a foot of snow

Most Read